Visiting Mumbai Indians fail to defend a modest total in batsman-friendly conditions

Riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s brilliance, Sunrisers Hyderabad continued its dream run at home, winning its fourth straight game in drubbing the formidable Mumbai Indians by seven wickets with two overs to spare in the Pepsi IPL league match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.

Chasing a modest target of 130, SRH was rarely troubled despite Akshat Reddy disappointing again and losing captain Kumar Sangakkara cheaply, thanks to Dhawan (73 not out, 55 balls, 9x4, 1x6).

His off-side stroke-play apart — the southpaw hit Harbhajan Singh inside-out over the covers, he was he was a picture of great confidence even when lashing left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson to the square third-man fence.

A disciplined Hanuma Vihari and Dhawan put on 74 runs for the third wicket off just 57 balls to shut MI out of the game.

The only bowlers who commanded some respect were fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, as even Harbhajan was dealt with severely.

Earlier, after Mumbai Indians elected to bat, the top-order failed to fire on a near-perfect batting wicket.

Ishant Sharma’s double strike — he clean-bowled Sachin Tendulkar and then forced Dinesh Karthik to drive away from his body to be caught at point — left the visitors at 32 for two at the end of five overs.

However, the lanky paceman did not quite have the perfect day on the field — he completely misjudged a lofted shot from Dwayne Smith, then on 25, off leg-spinner Amit Mishra and saw it sailed over the fence at long-off. There was joy for Mishra in his very next over, as he drew Rohit Sharma into a big hit and saw Ishant redeem himself by taking a simple catch to leave Mumbai 74 for three in 12.1 overs. In the same over, the leggie trapped Smith in front, the batsman losing his balance while trying to sweep.

The scoring pattern — 60 for two from 10 overs, 89 for four from 15 overs, and 40 runs from the last five overs — reflected the discipline SRH bowling.

Interestingly, the big-hitting Kieron Pollard struck only one four in the course of his 19-ball stay. But, for a good knock from Ambati Rayudu (34 off 27 balls, 4x4), MI could have ended up on even more disappointing score.

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